You know Spring has sprung when you start feeling the sudden urge to change your entire environment, to wash the windows, clean the carpets and turn the whole house inside out.
Yes, it’s that time of the year when you roll up your sleeves to remove dirt, grime and dust from every dark corner and even from underneath furniture.
Most of us do our Spring cleaning every year. We are so concerned about the state of our homes, but why do we forget to Spring clean our lives and minds, our financial approaches and our attitudes?
To be honest I don’t know the answer to this question. All I know is that, surely last year (or the last five years) our wintery climate has seen quite a bit of grime build-up on our emotions and wellbeing.
This year use Spring cleaning’s principles to remove clutter and wipe away negativity in order to achieve a fulfilling and happy life.
If you feel it’s a bit too late for this, don’t worry you can do it!
Clean up your mind
1) Get rid of stuck energy
Recent psychological studies have found a strong link between clutter and stress and it is safe to say that closets are the windows to a person’s mental health.
Sometimes just sitting in a piled room creates stress and discourages a person to do something healthy. Clutter is stuck energy. The word “clutter” derives from the Middle English word “clotter,” which means to coagulate – and that’s about as stuck as you can get.”
A clean home not only relaxes people, but predisposes them to engage in healthy behaviours of this kind.
2) Cleaning = cleansing
“Cleaning one’s hands removes more than physical contaminants; it also removes residues of the past, from the guilt of past transgressions to doubts about past decisions.” – Spike & Schwarz (2010).
Can we say that a cleaner self is also a more virtuous self? A brand new self?
Can soap and water actually remove psychological residue from yesterday’s disappointments and wipe away guilt? According to recent psychological research, the answer is ‘yes’. Historically physical cleanliness has long been associated with moral purity and spiritual cleansing.
So get busy with that broom and sweep away everything that brings you down.
Don’t forget there are powerful emotions lurking amidst items we keep. Get rid of anything that gets you down now.
3) Get control
Cleanliness has many health benefits as it protects us from bacteria and contagion that can ultimately damage our immune system.
Cleaning keeps us healthy and in control of our environment. This is why every person has a standard of cleanliness that he or she maintains.
There is more to it, though. When life is chaotic and everything seems to happen around us, cleaning the home may sometimes feel like the only thing we can actually do to change something in our environment for the better. It is a small sense of control and accomplishment, but it is there. You can just get the mop and wipe away everything that you don’t like!
In fact, according to Spike and Schwarz (2010) from “I’m gonna wash that man right outta my hair” to “wash away my troubles, wash away my pain”, people’s hopes about what can be “washed away” seem to extend further.
Clean up your financial approach
1) Iron the wrinkles out of your debt
Our finances play a huge role in our lives and shoveling money to interest payments on several different credit cards and loans is quite the burden.
According to finance expert Rubina Ahmed-Haq, “debt consolidation is only a great strategy if you don’t keep adding to your debt”.
Accept only as much as you can pay back. Ideally your mortgages, loans and taxes should be no more than 30% of your after-tax income.
If you have a clean credit score, though, banks may be willing to give you larger amounts. It might seem tempting to receive that much money, but as a result that might represent 60% of your after-tax income. That would call for a dramatic change in your lifestyle and you will have to give up on a lot of things in order to make re-payments.
2) Polish your credit score
You will be weighed, measured and evaluated based on your credit score. To some people it wouldn’t even matter what kind of person you are, or what you have achieved, unless your credit score says ‘A+’.
Who are these people, you might ask? Potential lenders, banks, landlords, insurance companies, and even some employers will judge your qualities based on your credit score reports.
Check your credit score report regularly and make sure it is spick-and-span – it is the foundation of your financial stability.
3) De-clutter your credit cards
It is no secret that credit cards are the most expensive form of debt. Their interest rates are sky-high and even though they can help you out on an occasion or two, truth is, they are probably draining your financial juices and are bleeding you dry.
So, unless you can pay off your balance in full every month to avoid interest, I would suggest you de-clutter your wallet and give them back to your bank. If that is not an option yet, here are some steps towards managing a credit card debt.
Hope these tips provided you with some ideas on how to better Spring clean this year!
Do you have any tips or thoughts to add? Please share in the comments below.